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I'm recently the proud new owner of what I appears to be a Le Creuset "Skinny Grill" which is an enameled cast iron grill pan.

I fairly new to cast iron but I'm accustomed to the no-soap cleanup and maintaining a season. This pan, however, is making me crazy. The little ridges make it difficult for me to get anything down in there. They are higher and spaced more closely together than the photograph below may indicate. I can barely get a fingertip down between the ridges, let alone a paper towel or rag. If you do manage to get something in there for wiping, little bits and fibers get torn off because of the rough surface. That's clearly not good eats.

Most of the "advice" I've read online (mostly message board conversations between folks who are facing this exact problem) say to use soap and water and scrub it down like it's any other pan. If I'm reading it correctly, the general advice on the Le Creuset website even suggests a ride through the dishwasher! I'm worried about ruining the season. It's tempting to dunk the whole thing in warm soapy water and go at it with a scrubby pad but that just feels wrong.

Incidentally, the previous owner abandoned this pan for this very problem. It "made a mess" and they "didn't know how to clean it."

Do I just treat it like a regular cast iron skillet?

It makes a tasty burger...

Dirty Le Creuset grilling pan

Edit: After playing around on the Le Crueset website a bit I'm finding separate instructions for cast iron and something they call "Satin Black Enamel." Is this not a cast iron surface? Now I'm extra confused.

  • Some european countries often call enameled cast iron simply 'cast iron', and they just don't typically use the type of cast iron that requires seasoning. I'd look over the instructions that came with the pan (if it was bought new) to see if it mentions how to prepare the pan for first use. – Joe Jun 30 '14 at 15:41
  • For me the kicker is "It makes a tasty burger...". Consider just how clean a pan like that needs to be. If my cast iron griddle looked like that I would warm it up, pour off excess fat then give it a rinse with cold water. The baked on cheese might need the edge of a spatula or something to work it loose. – psorenson Jan 9 '15 at 0:39

12 Answers 12

6

I own a similar square grill pan and have always had luck cleaning it with a stainless steel scouring sponge and lightly soapy water. The spongy texture is very effective at getting down into the grooves. No need to be especially vigorous - a couple quick passes will take out accumulated residues, and you can use a regular sponge afterward if you like. I've no idea how they season these, but it seems to hold up quite well over time. As near as I can tell, you can also re-season these just like any other cast iron when it does degrade.

Their statements about enamel are probably referring to the outer, colored finish - I also own a Le Creuset dutch oven which has the same enameling inside and out. Care and feeding of that surface is of course totally different from cast iron.

  • 1
    Initially I thought the same thing, that the cooking surface of that pan is just normal cast iron. But then I read lecreuset.co.uk/Help-Advice/Care--Use/…, and now I am not so sure. – Jolenealaska Jun 30 '14 at 0:14
  • @Jolenealaska To be fair, I don't know if it is either - I'm just speaking from my experience with a similar item. If I'm doing something wrong it hasn't caused too much damage in about 3 years of moderate use. – logophobe Jun 30 '14 at 0:18
  • @Jolenealaska : my mom had a LeCrueset cast iron grill pan that was enameled on the inside ... it was rather obvious it was enameled, as it wasn't black. (I think she said it had been a wedding gift, so would've been circa late 1960s). – Joe Jun 30 '14 at 15:38
  • To the person who suggested using a stainless steel scrubbing pad on the square cast iron grill pan — thank you! I’ve tried all sorts of things to clean between the ridges (including a flat screwdriver as one person recommended, although that seemed extreme so I stopped using it). Just tried using a Scotch Brite stainless scrubbing pad (no soap, just hot water) and it worked great! Flexible enough to get down into the spaces and scrub the cooked-on bits out. You’ve now made it a much more pleasant cooking experience when using our grill pan! – Ray Apr 14 '18 at 21:00
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This Le Creuset Skinny Grill is CAST IRON. All you have to do is soak it in water for fifteen minutes or fill it with same. Hot H2O will clean it faster. Then use a plastic bristle brush to brush out the residue. Don't even bother with soap, just plain water.
Never in the dishwasher! And never put it away without cleaning it every time. Both sides.

Keep in mind, this is a Grill. It gets all-mighty hot before you cook on it. That alone will kill any bio residue which may remain.

Don't make a mountain out of a molehill. . . . Cast Iron care is super-simple ! Good Luck.

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    +1 for recommending trying a plastic brush first before abrading seasoning with any kind of steel wool... and yeah, always good to keep a separate brush that is kept free of soap, for cast iron cookware, stone mortars etc... – rackandboneman Jan 17 '16 at 0:52
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For what it's worth, I use one of these (not filled with soap, obviously -- it's my dedicated cast iron brush), oil, and salt to clean my grill pan. I use to curse and go through lots of paper towels until I tried this, and it has worked great for me: http://www.oxo.com/p-815-steel-soap-dispensing-palm-brush.aspx

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After cooking, pour off fat and brush off remaining food bits. Heat it again, and let all the grease and remaining fluid boil off. The black stuff will peel itself off. Trust me. You can help it along by taking a grill brush, and brush it like you would your grill. Rinse, heat again until dry, give it a light swipe of vegetable oil, and store.

2

All the information you need about Le Creuset products are right on their website.

As for their grills this product is cast iron. However, the cast iron on the outside is covered with enamel. The cooking surface is a finish they call Satin Black; it is NOT cast iron, and it's not Teflon either.

So, never scrub with abrasive products. Never use metal utensils on this grill or anything metal to clean this grill. Don't worry about using water...it's not a cast iron finish. Like most all other Le Creuset products, soak in warm soapy water, then use a plastic brush or sponge.
The website also has specific instructions for cooking that help tremendously in making sure you don't end up with an uncleanable mess. No it's not necessarily intuitive.!

Grilling instructions: (https://www.lecreuset.com/care-and-use#ci-grilling)

Cleaning instructions (be prepared to scroll up and down to find information specific to your Le Creuset item) (https://www.lecreuset.com/care-and-use#ci-cleaning)

  • 1
    Welcome to Seasoned Advice! It would be helpful if you linked the specific instructions on Le Creuset's website here so others can find them. And if there are other elements there that readers would find helpful (you mention "specific instructions"), it would be good to summarize main points here to make your answer most useful to other users. (Website links can change and webpages can be deleted, so it's always better to give a summary of information here if you can.) Thanks for the information. – Athanasius Apr 7 '18 at 17:16
  • I thought it was satin black but I couldn’t be sure. Looking around on their website just confused me more. Maybe it’s better organized nowadays. – Preston Apr 7 '18 at 20:07
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When I'm done cooking I heat the grill pan until the grease is burned off. When its cooled down, I use a really big flathead screwdriver to scrape the crud between the ridges, then to scrape the ridges themselves. A small chisel might work too. Just make sure to burn off the grease and lay out a lot of newspaper to catch the scraped bits.

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I have a square Lodge Logic 10" Cast Iron Grill Pan, and the best solution I have come up for cleaning in between the ridges is a stiff bristled toothbrush. When I have stuck on bits of food between the ridges. I will pour off the grease (if there is any), then run under hot water while it is still hot. Then I will put in enough water to cover the ridges and immediately scrub it gently with the toothbrush, dry it with a cloth, put it on the burner for a minute to finish drying it, and then season with a bit of oil.

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I use a wad of crumpled aluminum foil. Works great. I am going to try adding salt and oil after reading these.

1

Use soap ( yes soap ) and a plastic stiff bristle brush. https://lifehacker.com/go-ahead-and-use-soap-to-clean-your-cast-iron-pan-1658416503

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I have found. Including the above. That taking a lathing strip or wood shim stock. Found at hardware stores in lumber. Scrape the grill top with it. The soft wood quickly takes the shape of the ridges. So works well as a scraper. Lightly oil. Let set overnight. Rescrape & they are clean with out damage. Also works on the grill plates of outside cast iron grill plates. I like them better than the brass brush's & steelwool Others use. Boiling also works or helps. But a scraper that wears to exactly fit the groves of wood works best for me.

  • You may have missed that this is enameled cast iron. Scraping can be risky, it could damage the enamel (although wood might work). – rumtscho Dec 19 '17 at 19:05
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    Only the outsides are enameled. I said wood. A soft wood those are. They will not cause damage. Wear out fast they do. About as hard as your finger nail, – J Bergen Dec 20 '17 at 12:20
  • No, the inside is enameled - this is what "Satin Black Enamel" means, it is a coating used by Le Creuset which looks like bare cast iron but is in fact enamel. – rumtscho Dec 20 '17 at 16:42
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I saw on Rachel Ray.......wipe with Crisco and sprinkle salt all over..let sit overnight. My grill cleaned up very well.

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Spray with oven cleaner, foam up ,let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes scrub with sponge with rough side,rinse, dry with paper towels, season pan put away ready for next time. I also spray lightly with Pam before I start cooking

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